Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente Almost Crushed By Mets Catcher Joe Pignatano

Roberto Clemente Involved In A Strange Play At Home

Roberto Clemente August 21 1962 photo AP


New York, August 21, 1962 – It’s just that Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates objects to being sat upon by catcher Joe Pignatano of the New York Mets after sliding into home plate with a run in the first game of a twin bill Tuesday. Pittsburgh won the first game 8-6 but lost the second 5-4. Photo: Associated Press

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Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente Before The 1961 All-Star Games

Before The Mid-Summer Classics Of 1961

NL All Stars 1961 Mays Cepeda Murtaugh Burgess Clemente

Pittsburgh (July 1) – All Stars – Danny Murtaugh, manager of the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates (center), looks over some mighty potent bats in the hands of four National League stars named for the All-Star baseball games July 11 at San Francisco and July 31 at Boston. They are (l to r) Willie Mays and Orlando Cepeda of San Francisco and Smoky Burgess and Roberto Clemente of Pittsburgh (AP wire photo) 1961

For 1959 – 1962 two baseball All-Star games were played during the summer.

The National League won the first game on July 11, 1961 by a score of 5-4. Both Mays and Clemente played the whole game. Mays went 2 for 5 scoring twice and driving in a run when Mays doubled home Hank Aaron and scored on a single by Clemente in the tenth inning. Clemente went 2 for 4, scored one run and drove in two including the game winner.

This was also the legendary game where pitcher Stu Miller was allegedly blown off the mound in San Francisco’s windy Candlestick Park. To this day Miller denies it even though he was quoted after the game saying, “The wind blew me off the mound.”

In the second All-Star game at Boston’s Fenway Park July 31, 1961, the game was called after the ninth inning, a 1-1 tie. Again Mays and Clemente played the entire game with Mays going 1 for 3 and Clemente going 1 for 2.

The Pirates starting catcher Smoky Burgess always looked old in every photo I’ve ever seen of him. In 1961 he was only 34. If you met Smoky on the street you would probably think he was anything but a ballplayer – possibly a postal clerk or a truck driver. But Burgess, was indeed a six time all-star with a .295 career batting average, even if he didn’t look the part.

A Rose By Any Other Name

The Aaron’s, Clemente’s and Mays’ Of A Lesser Ilk

Roberto, Willie and Hank

In major league baseball history there was only one Ruth, Gehrig, Koufax, Medwick, Seaver and Carew. You know who is being referred to when you hear the name Mantle.

Yet there have been several Robinson’s, Johnson’s, Ryan’s and Smith’s of varying playing ability. Some were great, some were good, and others were let’s just say, not so great. If you say, “Robinson was a fantastic player,” you usually have to clarify which- Jackie, Frank or Brooks.

What if you were a professional ballplayer and your last name happens to be Jeter, but your first name is not Derek?

Sharing a baseball great’s last name can sometimes be a drag because comparisons may be drawn to your famous counterpart. You can be sure that with the exception of your family and close friends, most references by the baseball loving public to your last name, go to the superstar.

So as a professional ballplayer if you share that famous last name but you never achieved super-stardom, at least you can always say you had your name on a baseball card.

So which baseball card would you rather have?

Hank Aaron or….

Tommie Aaron?

Derek Jeter or…

Johnny Jeter? Continue reading